Victorville men headed to trial for DJ's shooting
VICTORVILLE • A local teacher and his cousin charged in the shooting death of another man in the parking lot of DJ's Sports Bar and Grill were ordered to stand trial for murder Thursday.
Judge Lynn Poncin ruled there is probable cause to believe Michael Jermaine Favors, 21, and his 35-year-old cousin, Jesse Anatole Davis, committed the murder. Preliminary hearings are held for judges to decide whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence to hold defendants for a jury trial.
Bouncers at the Hesperia bar told investigators that a fight broke out in the patio in the early morning of Aug. 12. The bouncers escorted the involved parties out of the bar, but the fight continued in the parking lot and turned into a melee.
Favors got into a fight with a man and knocked him out before a bouncer separated them, Detective Daniel Rodriguez testified. As Favors tried to get into Davis’ car, victim Britain Clayborn, of Rancho Cucamonga, and a few others chased him to the car door, according to witnesses. Clayborn was holding the door open and kicking Favors, while another man was Tasing the defendant.
Favors then grabbed a gun from underneath his seat and shot Clayborn, Detective Steven Pennington said. Witnesses saw Favors get out of the car, stand over the victim lying on the ground and shoot him a few more times.
Davis drove over the victim as the defendants backed out of the parking lot and left the scene, witnesses said.
Favors initially denied being at the bar. But he eventually admitted that his other cousin (not Davis) got into a fight there and they got escorted out of the bar, Pennington said. Favors said he was chased by a few men in the parking lot and was getting kicked and Tased when he shot the victim.
Ron Powell, Davis’ attorney, vehemently protested the prosecution’s request to hold his client responsible for murder. Davis was not involved in any fight and had no knowledge that Favors would shoot the victim, Powell said.
Davis said he drove Favors to the bar, but Davis was dancing on his own while Favors hung out with another cousin, according to Rodriguez. He found Favors outside the bar after the melee broke out and told him to get into the car, Davis said. But people began attacking Favors in the passenger seat, and Davis drove off after he heard several gunshots.
Deputy District Attorney Jill Gregory argued that Davis aided and abetted the murder as the getaway driver. The judge asked the prosecutor why it’s not an accessory after the fact, and Gregory said Davis ran over the victim when he might have been alive and didn’t bother to call 911. According to the autopsy, the victim died of gunshot wounds.
When Poncin ruled in favor of the prosecution, Davis’ family members broke into tears. Powell buried his face in his hands and stormed out of the courtroom.
“I don’t usually act in anger in a prelim, but this is not a typical guy that’s charged with murder,” Powell said. “He’s a school teacher who works with troubled youth in Adelanto and a drummer in a church band.”
Davis teaches at Harry Shepard Middle School and has no criminal record, Powell said. Now it’s up to 12 jurors to decide whether or not he committed murder.
The defendants are scheduled to return to Victorville court Oct. 9 for arraignment.
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.